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Just Ask Wilma


Wilma Mabry in her kitchen

In 1953, Wilma Mabry moved to Rowan County from West Virginia, and she’s been here ever since. For the last 30-40 years she’s lived in the same house on Big Woods Road, near the Fleming County line. It was in this house that she raised her four children and she is still able to live there today, thanks to the help of Frontier Housing’s rehab program.

She doesn’t look it, but Wilma is 75 years old and although her house hasn’t seen quite as many years it was beginning to show its age when Wilma first contacted Frontier Housing several decades ago. The back porch was nearly falling off the house and the house probably wouldn’t have stood another winter. Construction crews dug out the front yard in order to make repairs to the basement and Wilma says, “Honey, it was pitiful” to describe just how bad the house was.

This spring, Frontier Housing helped Wilma once again with funds from Rural Housing and Wilma is simply overjoyed with the condition of her home. Frontier Housing put up new siding and shutters, installed a new bathtub and shower, fixed the windows to keep out the cold winter air, and installed central air so that the new windows could keep in the cool air during the summer.

Before, the paint was peeling off the sides of the house, but now her house looks brand new. “Everybody says I have a beautiful home! When they were working on it people would stop in the road and tell them what a beautiful home I have!” she says.

Wilma has a new hot water heater and doesn’t have to walk down to her basement to push “reset” every time she wants hot water. Now she can relax in her newly updated bathroom with hot water and a new floor. The windows in her living room and kitchen have been redone and are smaller now, with built-in shelves that Wilma adores. About the shelves, she says “Ooooh! I love ‘em! They told me they was gonna fix some pretty shelves and they did!”

She is so enthusiastic about everything in her home that it would be silly to ask her what her favorite feature is. “I love everything! I’m just so happy with it!” she says and she just can’t stop talking about how beautiful her home is. And it is beautiful – the new siding and shutters make the home look like new. The inside and outside are so well taken care of that nobody would know Wilma has lived here as long as she has.